275 books — 58 voters
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lives of Ants” as Want to Read:
The Lives of Ants
Since time immemorial, human beings have been fascinated by ants, amazed by them, intrigued and captivated by them. With numerous black-and-white images and eight pages of color plates, The Lives of Ants provides a state-of-the-art look at what we now know about these fascinating creatures, portraying a world that is rich and full of surprises, one which, even after ...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published April 25th 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published February 26th 2009)
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Natural World: Natural Science and Natural History for Adults
More lists with this book...
This book stupefied me. The subject (ants! ants! ants!) is interesting, but the sheer number of ant colonies extant, plus their widely varying mode-of-life, makes anything but the broadest categories impossible. - So I assume - I'm being charitable. The chapters offer vast, sweeping vistas (Slavery! Queens! Nomads!), but are unable to focus on any particular type of ant - instead they offer up tiny bits of information that just don't connect. Bad science, too. (Question: Why do ants not attack a ...more
Prepare for ant facts … According to this book, ants constitute around 10% of the total animal biomass on Earth. In many places they are as at least as important as earthworms in turning soil and in deep fertilisation (by bringing vegetation under the earth), therefore ecologically they are a big deal. But I guess that for most people it’s because of their incredibly complex social behaviours that ants are so fascinating. There are at least 12,467 different species of ant, and behaviours vary wi ...more
Many chapters may interest only ant fanciers. But the last chapters are fascinating to the general reader and quite surprising. Scientists/engineers have used “swarm intelligence” as practised by ants as ways to solve problems that pure mathematics find hard to address. For instance, ants comunicating location of food sources leave pheromone trails of varying strengths, so that nestmates can find the shortest or most efficient trail to that source. Scientists have created digitized ants who ...more
There's really no other word I can think to describe this book with except 'disappointing.' Ants are fascinating creatures that can show a range of behaviors, innovations and social structures that rival humans, but this book does little to relate that fascination. For starter's it's poorly written - it's possible that it's the fault of the translator, but being that James Grieve is a world-renowned translator from French, I'm more inclined to believe he just didn't have much to work with - it ...more
The number of times people saw me reading this and asked, "Are you really reading about ants?" Yes. Yes I am. And why wouldn't you? Ants are fascinating. There were a good number of interest ant facts in here. My only complaint would be that there did not seem to be a structure to the way the chapters were put together, skipping from one topic to the next without much to link them, sometimes coming back to topics that had already been touched on before. Definitely enjoy it though.
It's a good book about ants... But you gotta love ants. The first third of the book is for most people but once they start talking about genetics it gets a bit technical. This book needs to perhaps take some lessons from info graphics. Complex things represented In fun and engaging ways. This book feels too dull to be an every person book on ants and probably not technical enough for hard core ant folk. Its better, I suspect, being one or the other. Not trying to appease both camps.
A very informative book, it is filled with interesting facts about ants which may surprise you. The majority of the book covers the details of ants lives. Mainly on their social structure and the varying aspects of it. Towards the end of the book the authors write about how ants feature in our daily lives. For example, how they have used ants to work out how to make efficient queue systems in call centers.
A very interesting look at one of the most fascinating creatures. Ants really do make you question some fundamental assumptions about the animals. It's an utterly engrossing read for anyone interested in the topic, but probably won't be terribly interesting for people who aren't already enamored of ants.
A well written book that gives a fascinating glimpse into the world of ants. They live with us and thankfully apart from us. The research into their social structure and how it can effect improvements in human traffic patterns and aging are just two things in a wealth of information about ants.
We know they are well organized, live a diligent and structured life; that they are hardworking and thrifty, as well as capable of aggression and violence when disturbed. But with scientific élan the authors open pages of fascinating anecdotes of endless surprises for the layman.